If you already have some Microsoft certifications, where do you go from here? Here’s a guide to some of the most advanced Microsoft certifications available.
When it comes to getting IT certified, so long as you have the time, money, and the drive, the sky really is the limit. Let’s take a look at the pinnacle of Microsoft certifications and discuss what you need to do to achieve it.
Microsoft Role-Based Certifications
Prior to this year, the most advanced certifications would have been Microsoft’s discontinued master certifications. However, as of early 2019, Microsoft shook up its entire certification structure by changing them into “role-based” certifications.
Over this year, the new structure has been very well-received, as it presents courses and certifications that reflect real-world scenarios and job roles. Another boon of the certification rehash is how much clearer scaling the certification ladder has become, with professionals able to progress through the different tiers to reach their career-end goal.
The first rung of the ladder is the fundamentals certifications, which are entry-level and are designed to help new graduates take their first steps in Microsoft certifications. Next comes associate certifications, which are tailored to more experienced individuals looking to progress forward in their IT career or specialize in a more niche field.
Lastly, and the highest Microsoft certification level is the expert tier. To gain these certifications, participants need to have years of industry experience working with a variety of different systems relevant to the certification in question.
They’ll also need to have completed a relevant associate certification or recognized equivalent to qualify to engage in an expert level certification.
This means that expert-level, role-based certifications from Microsoft are solely reserved for seasoned professionals with a history of accreditation looking to take their careers to the very apex of their field.
As you know, Microsoft represents the gold standard of IT certification. This couldn’t be achieved unless they scrutinized and challenged their certification participants to ensure they are able to uphold and use the skills gained on expert level courses to better their careers and their employing companies.
The Most Popular Expert-Level Certifications
Microsoft offers certifications suited to almost all IT niches and specialisms. However, there are some expert-level certifications that are most popular because they offer a broader scope when it comes to job roles. They also represent the top accreditation in a growing or sought-after field. Let’s take a closer look at these.
Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect Expert
To gain this certification, participants must pass two exams: AZ-300 and AZ-301. This cert is designed for those looking to become a solutions architect. As it is role-based, this certification requires knowledge of real-world tasks, such as deploying and configuring Azure infrastructure, creating and deploying apps, and designing an infrastructure strategy.
These skills closely reflect the day-to-day demands of a solutions architect, such as advising stakeholders, translating business requirements, and creating secure, scalable, and reliable solutions.
There are no specific prerequisites for this certification, but it is likely that a period of experience and an associate-level certification or equivalent will be required as a minimum.
As this is an expert-level certification, there are 10 units that participants need to study, which breaks down into a total of 73 individual modules. This, of course, represents a substantial workload that you should be prepared to undertake before opting for this course.
Microsoft 365 Certified: Enterprise Administrator Expert
To gain this certification, participants must successfully complete the following exams: MS-100 and MS-101. This role-based certification is designed to help IT professionals become expert administrators.
Skills learned when training for the certification include job tasks such as learning how to evaluate, plan, migrate, manage, and deploy Microsoft 365 services.
To undertake this certification, participants will need to possess a relevant, intermediate qualification such as Modern Desktop Administrator Associate, Teamwork Administrator Associate, Security Administrator Associate, Messaging Administrator Associate, MCSE Productivity Solutions Expert, or Teams Administrator Associate.
This expert-level certification typically requires undertaking a training course, because as of yet, online learning paths delivered by Microsoft are not available on the website, which is definitely something which potential applicants need to understand.
Bootcamps as a Better Option
Many applicants opt to undertake a group training course instead of going it alone, as there is a lot of information to take in. Training courses or boot camps will often have the exam included in their package as well as a retake voucher.
They can teach you all you need to know about preparing for the exam in as little as 6 days. This can be a great option if you’re a busy professional, as it means less time away from the office combined with a faster end result.
If you want to reach the pinnacle of your IT career or even reach the dream career you’ve been striving towards, then becoming a Microsoft Certified Expert is the best way to go. Representing the very top on Microsoft’s new role-based certifications, certified experts are currently in high demand across various sectors of IT.